The echelons of power within the government, the media, and throughout society appear to be wittingly or unwittingly nurturing the seeds of another Timothy McVeigh as they continue to target their political opponents. They are crafting the playbook for the very forces they claim to counter.
Timothy McVeigh, an ordinary Army veteran, turned to radicalization fueled by deep-seated grievances with the government. His anger turned to rage after the events at Ruby Ridge and Waco, Texas, where the government’s handling of the standoffs led to dozens of deaths, including that of innocent children. McVeigh’s radicalization was fueled by a distrust of government, a sense of hopelessness, and a conviction that he needed to act. This transformation showcases the dangerous convergence of personal grievances, a perceived sense of injustice, and a willingness to resort to extreme measures. It serves as a stark reminder of how ordinary individuals can be swayed toward radical ideologies when their frustrations are left unaddressed and when they perceive the system as failing them.
On the eve of a potential fourth indictment of former President Trump, I cannot help but observe how certain actions and policies, all under the illusion of safeguarding our “democracy,” are sowing the seeds of division and disillusionment. In this theater of political maneuvering, self-anointed “guardians of democracy” have brazenly cast aside time-honored norms and foundational principles as they callously disregard the legitimate grievances voiced by a substantial segment of the American populace.
This phenomenon started when individuals, who saw their careers and livelihoods dismantled as jobs were outsourced to foreign shores, found themselves met with dismissive admonitions from the political and educated elite. The message was clear: Their hardships were inconsequential, and they needed to get over it.
This elitist attitude intensified after the 2016 election, as the establishment lost all faith in the American people. Thus efforts to reverse what they perceived as a mistake began.
The most powerful law enforcement agency embarked on a mission to wreak havoc, orchestrating an investigation into alleged Russian collusion. Although this was an egregious abuse of power, not a single person was truly held accountable. Despite the harm inflicted upon our nation, James Comey got a $2 million book deal, while others became high-paid pundits on MSNBC and CNN.
Throughout the pandemic, officials issued draconian orders forcing lockdowns, school closures, and mask mandates. When ordinary people questioned these measures, they were attacked as science deniers. When they protested these unconstitutional decrees, more than 1,000 public health officials signed a letter equating the protests to a form of white supremacy.
Those in power believed they had a right to control thought and speech, evidenced by the CDC’s Carol Crawford, who pressured Twitter to censor what the CDC deemed “unapproved opinions.” The “Twitter Files” present extensive proof of government collaboration with social media to stifle dissent against their favored narrative.
Then came the vaccine and mandates. Millions of people were held hostage — either get the vaccine or have their livelihood destroyed. President Joe Biden even threatened the unvaccinated exclaiming that “our patience is wearing thin.” As it turned out, much of the official government narrative was lies — from the origins of Covid to declaring the vaccine stops the spread of the virus. While the government fed us misinformation, scientists that were telling the truth, like Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, were censored. Rather than apologize and ensure this never happens again, officials dismiss these concerns and seek to rewrite history.
The 2020 elections stand as yet another substantial grievance, yet the very act of questioning the integrity of these elections remains a taboo subject, one that dares not be broached. We are not allowed to question the 51 intelligence officials who interfered in the election by declaring the Biden laptop exposé as Russian disinformation. Or how the over $400 million Zuckerbucks influenced the election. Or how state governments, which struggle to competently repair the simplest of potholes, “flawlessly” implemented an entirely new voting system.
In a similar fashion, parents are not allowed to raise concerns regarding what their children are being exposed to in school. In spite of the failures to educate our children, and the historic lows in basic student proficiency levels, schools are pushing divisive curricula and introducing children, as young as kindergarten, to radical gender ideology. When parents expressed their outrage at school board meetings, Attorney General Merrick Garland quickly mobilized the FBI to investigate them. Parents’ rights groups, including Moms for Liberty, are declared extremist organizations.
After the Biden administration released the National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism in June 2021, my warning regarding the categorization of regular individuals as extremists proved prescient. This very document stands as one of the most disconcerting government efforts, creating a chilling effect and attempting to eradicate any form of government criticism. The act of criticizing the government and its policies is unjustly recast as the propagation of anti-government and anti-authority sentiment based on “perceived government overreach.” That is the key — those abusing their power are the very ones that get to determine whether the government is overreaching.
Thus ordinary Americans find themselves subjected to attacks and marginalization, and carry the risk of being labeled extremists. Biden’s declaration further solidified this trend, branding these individuals as forces determined to “destroy democracy” and saying they represent an “extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
The ruling class has now embarked on a shock and awe campaign of indictments. In most of the cases, they are employing untested legal theories, all in a bid to ensure that the former president is barred from returning to the White House. However, as they expend every ounce of energy to take down a former president, their commitment to shielding Biden reaches unparalleled levels. This dualistic treatment deepens the chasm of disillusionment, reinforcing the narrative that the system is rigged against nearly half the country.
These very forces exhibit an absence of self-awareness, oblivious to the fact that their own detachment from the people was what paved the way for the emergence of the former president. They resort to terms like “purge,” “deprogram,” and “re-educate” when addressing his supporters.
I continue to grow extremely concerned knowing the path toward radicalization is forged by unaddressed grievances, suppressed dissent, hopelessness, and the unchecked abuse of power.
We now find ourselves in an era of profound instability, confronted by the possibility of a new McVeigh emerging, cultivated by the very officials who profess to be working to avert such an outcome. Some may be banking on such occurrences, poised to exploit any given incident as a pretext to introduce even more authoritarian measures under the guise of preserving “democracy.”
Only those in power can pull us back from the brink. A good start would be by acknowledging legitimate grievances and beginning to rebuild trust in a system that has been marred by ideological corruption. Implementing reforms, prioritizing transparency, and enforcing accountability stand as three pivotal instruments that may guide us back from the brink.